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Organic Grain Production is Topic of Jan. 30 Workshop

An organic farming workshop will assist growers seeking information on what is required to grow organic corn, soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum and forage crops.

“Starting an Organic Grain Farming Operation — What You Need to Know” is 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

Keith Glewen, Nebraska Extension educator, said the program is geared toward those who wish to learn more about the components of successful organic grain production.

“Extension professionals across Nebraska have experienced an uptick in the number of questions pertaining to organic grain production,” Glewen said. “We are providing this educational program as an attempt to answer questions and provide additional information as it relates to getting started in this growing industry.”

The workshop features speakers experienced in various facets of organic crop production and marketing.

“The presenters have a wealth of experience with organic farming,” said Gary Lesoing, extension educator. “They will provide important information about the transition to organic farming and tools for success for farming organically.”

Topics and presenters include:

  • The Mental Transitioning from Conventional to Organic Farming,” Dave Welsch, certified organic farmer since 1993, Milford;
  • Organic Certification — From Application to Certification Decisions,” Clayton Blagburn, certification specialist, OneCert Organization Inc., Lincoln;
  • Organic Grain Marketing,” Alex Wolf, Scoular organic grain manager, Omaha;
  • The Importance of Cover Crops in an Organic Rotation,” Jim Starr, Joel and Jim Starr Partnership, Hastings;
  • Farming System Strategies for Success in Organics” and “Weed Management in Organic Row Crops,” Joel Gruver, associate professor of soil science and sustainability agriculture, Western Illinois University.

The program will conclude with a panel during which attendees can interact with those directly involved in organic grain farming.

There is no fee to attend, but pre-registration is required by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 28 to ensure resource materials are available and for meal-planning purposes. Seating is limited. Registration and more information is available at

The workshop is sponsored by Nebraska Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.

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